Center - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 7
Shots: 54 | +/-: -8
— Battling for a roster spot has become part of Luke Glendening
’s identity. He has had to fight to get in the lineup at virtually every level, going back to his days at the University of Michigan where he earned a roster spot as a walk-on.
“We’ve got a lot of guys on one-way contracts so there are going to be odd people out so I’ll have to battle my way into the lineup,” Glendening said. “That’s not going to stop when camp is over. Every day will be a challenge for me and an opportunity.”
Glendening, who scored just one goal in 56 games last season with the Wings, spent the offseason working on his game and is showing signs of improvement in his offensive abilities. More importantly, he has confidence in those abilities.
“Glenny’s already got two goals in camp. He had one last year. That’s confidence with the puck, that’s feeling good about yourself,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s just going to continue to grow. He’s a hard-working guy, he’s as competitive as they come. He’s just going to get better.”
Confidence can go a long way when trying to improve a young player’s game. Glendening enters his second season with the Wings and hopes that his newfound swagger will increase his offensive output either as a fourth-line center or winger.
“I think I need the puck more. I can’t be chasing it around on the ice a lot,” he said. “I have to have a quicker release and be ready to shoot the puck when I get it. I can’t be afraid to shoot it. Sometimes you’re always looking to make a pass, just shoot it on net and see what happens.”
He will get a chance to see what happens when the Wings take on the Blackhawks tonight at the United Center in Chicago. Glendening is expected to be the center on the third line between Teemu Pulkkinen and Mitch Callahan.
“I have to be more productive,” Glendening said. “You can’t stay in the lineup and score one goal all year. I want to be more productive there. I want to help the team any way I can. I’m going to be battling for a spot in the lineup every night this year.”